Played in Manchester

Charting the heritage of a city at play


By: Simon Inglis
RRP: £14.99
Format: 136pp softback 210mm x 210mm
ISBN: 1 87359 2787
Published by English Heritage in October 2004

Played in Manchester is the first of a groundbreaking English Heritage series celebrating Britain's extraordinarily rich and diverse sporting heritage.

Lavishly illustrated and adopting a completely new approach to the study of sporting and urban history, Played in Manchester leads readers along a trail of fascinating locations and little known buildings in all corners of the city and its surrounds; a Victorian 'real tennis' club in the backstreets of Salford; an Edwardian billiard room in Eccles; the Broughton training ground where Manchester United's Bobby Charlton and David Beckham once honed their skills but which started out as a Jewish tennis club; a former racecourse grandstand now used as a student union and, not least, the opulent Victoria Baths, winner of BBC television's Restoration series in 2003.

Added to its international reputation as a centre for football, cricket and, most recently, the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the Manchester area has, at one time or another, been a leading centre for archery, athletics, cycling, lacrosse, speedway and water polo. In 1877 one of the world's first indoor ice rinks was built in Rusholme. Salford has Britain's second oldest surviving municipal baths (opened in 1855), while the country's first ever greyhound stadium was built at Belle Vue in 1926. Manchester can also claim three of Britain's best preserved pre-1914 Lads' Clubs, including the much-celebrated Salford Lads' Club, dating from 1903, on the real-life Coronation Street, Ordsall. Until the 1960s Salford was also the centre of the turnstile manufacturing industry.

Manchester's sporting credentials and the passion of its spectators have always been highly regarded. Played in Manchester will cement that reputation even further.

Sponsored by Manchester City Council this is a book full of delightful surprises and quirky details, many of which are barely known, even in the Manchester area. There has never been a history of the city quite like it.